tv Capital News Today CSPAN March 22, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
if you had to bet on internal leaders, by the end of the day, it needs to be the afghans. ok? that would not be sufficiently credible in the future. we have established of salaam group. the first one is logic -- logistics. it is 80% of negotiations, trust me. in many of you know it. you have to be at the right time and also in a way that you appear to be not contaminated. it may in no way give you a
certain type of profile or identity. we have been putting our own helicopters, we have eight of them, at the disposal of the sa laam support group and therefore of the peace council. they use them logistically, because they needed to go all over the country to start talking to the local communities and say, they propose that, what do you feel comfortable with, what is your concern about that? and around the region, they have been to turkey and pakistan, and with our support, going to for ron. -- to iran. other substantial support from about 18 of them, many very
qualified, many very young people who have a remarkable capacity. they are able to work and prepare petition papers, analysis, all of that which according to the afghan approach may be due requiring complications. and have a roster of many other available for the active government. example, if you start discussing the complex maintenance of islamic identity of the afghanistan, which is a crucial thing, and at the same time maintaining all of us and many afghans. what is been acquired in humans rights and women's rights, we have now 69 women in the parliament, by the way. that is another area where we
are involved. and then confidence-building measures. one day there will be a need for a union -- un office, to facilitate meetings between people who do not like to meet, that can be filled by the un without to providing any time except it legitimacy. we are opening meeting offices anyway, the whole world. we can do other offices. that would be another option that we are keeping in mind. how to support confidence- building measures. the bottom line, we are equipped did and poised to support formal end of official negotiations. >> some questions from ngo's in the other room. what should the political search
to look like, it is there a case for coalition government pulling back and enabling non-state actors to operate more independently, and then a question about what happens to the women -- the rights of women in goal in the new afghanistan? is this a top priority? >> but start with the last one, and you probably know the un has to be very clear about elections, in a country like afghanistan in the middle of the war, and after the other difficult elections, it would then probably not to have them. but once you have them, you are free to capitalize on the factors that you have institutions to build up. they did their jobs. -- they got 1.3 million votes out.
it was a difficult process, but if an institution works in afghanistan, we need to help them, because that is the beginning. on the same concept, we need to maintain working on the building up what has been achieved regarding women and human rights in particular. you could argue -- they are right in raising it because it is a concern of many afghan women. there is discussion with the taliban, does this mean that we're going to pay the price yielding, compromising, for the sake of making peace? i hope and believe that would not be the case. if the taliban decides to
discuss, and i have discovered -- and i think they have discovered there is no military discussion, they may be tempted to do so. the only way they could feel they would have access to discussion is knowing that the afghan constitution is there. of course you can change it if you want, but you can change it electorally like you have have to change it in the u.s., and you have to try by winning the elections and a democratic way. -- in a democratic way. they wanted to take over and change the constitution and make a communist country. did they do it? nope. there are ways to accommodate that, but they will not be able to do. especially if we have a strong parliament and strong women in and, and we are part of supporting that. so, conclusion -- we should keep
an eye on it. because the argument of women as you know is a fundamental point not only for us, but for millions of afghans right now. in this area where the taliban has been taking over, they have been very sensitive and careful this time as to not overplay, although we heard some awful incidents. here is the optimist, they must learn the lesson that the afghans are not really any more for that. but we have to cross that bridge. ,egarding the role of the ngo's you are right. at the moment, there is not of human crisis in afghanistan but there could be. secondly there is poverty and
where the civilians casualty's are suffering. there is a role for the independence of the ngo's and did is important. reggie and it is important. >> i am jim purcell. i have been falling -- 1979, when the soviet union invaded, and i have seen multiple displacement of afghan citizens in you're dealing with a good bit of displacement. i wanted a comment on how the return and assimilation is going so that these people can return. >> i know your heart is still there. you should be proud of your organization. they're doing a good job on the border with libya.
we seen the things in kuwait when thousands of people who were just workers were the first ones to pay the price. in all the issues of refugees, the biggest problem we are facing at the moment -- and you probably know there was a goodwill ambassador, very famous, visiting their recently. it was about the issue of when they return, he and she and his family should feel sufficient comfort in not feeling that they are just being welcomed and then abandoned. that is a big problem at the moment. due to the situation, the security situation, and the focus on many other issues, they often are in the middle of that and they need to be better
assisted. that is why we have been promoting joint operations between the un agencies in order to make sure that they have a village-family type of arrangement. distillate challenge. -- is still a challenge. more and more coming back from pakistan, less from iran, because many have found homes and jobs. you are right in raising it. >> in 1940 [inaudible] there was a secret memo now declassified as part of the marshall plan. he explained the economic raming was the quickest way to get the
effects to underpin stability. i was wondering in the case of afghanistan, and you certainly touched on the new silk road and the regional dimension, but i was wondering about the economic policy and the need for future afghanistan including unemployment, one of the top complaints of the population, could be central and more straightforward. when we see u.s. policy leaders and european counterparts speaking about afghanistan, they speak so much about security. the question to you is, is now the right time to articulate the economic dimension? or will it come later down the road? >> lovely to see you. and all the best. i am delighted. as you know, it was a wonderful. . it was so long and i was
delighted, god bless you. to your point, the answer is yes, you are right. the time is now. the time is now. yesterday the transition was announced. transition to what? transition simply to security? that the police stations of the afghanistan will be comfortable in the local environment, or also to affect the unemployment and the local environment is making in people finding a job, working there, and not being tempted by guys who come from kandahar to tend them to join the taliban. there is going to be a moment, and hopefully they will be in a political settlement, where there will be a need and an urgent need [no audio]
particularly in some areas affected. on the side of the border in the afghan side of the border, where most of the fighting, the bonding, -- the bombing has been taking place. while there are difficult solution, it can be a major contribution to destabilizing the future of the environment, particularly in the pashtun area. you do not need to be a troublesome area in order to deserve special attention. then the temptation to become of let's be troublesome to get special attention. now's the time to focus support to the very places which of our party transitions in a way -- which have already transition ed in a way.
yes, you need to come back soon, whenever you can. that is exactly that type of challenges we will face. it cannot be just security. >> a couple of questions specifically about the you in. how those staff compare with those in iraq? to you in afghanistan feel safe? and they are taking over security in seven areas. how you think they will impact the work that the u.n. is doing in those areas? >> if i have to accumulate the three points, i would focus on whether we in the u.n. feels secure. the reality is that afghanistan is still a dangerous place. the reality is that the u.n. has
been targeted and have had five of my colleagues killed and several wounded. and we had an attack relatively recently, where obama tried to enter an operational center. -- a bomber tried to enter an operational center. the afghan soldiers shot first, got wounded, and in our own internal security was given enough time to respond and we were able to go to a safe place. by saying so, i am trying to reply to the question. [no audio] of relation with the u.s. military, which will address separately. the writing on the wall is definitely [no audio] taking over their own security. we need to expect on them and count on them to do so.
there are frustrations, but not massive ones. second, our job is dangerous. and the more we are practice, the more becomes dangerous, but if we were completely passive, we would be in much more danger [no audio] and become a redolent pretty irrelevant. that is what all of us, including myself, move forward. regarding our relation with the u.s. military, i am biased because as you know, i am a friend of [no audio] and you become a friend when you go through difficult times like this. i tried a separate that, but it
is difficult because friends are friends. that makes a big difference, because there is a lot of fair play and attention that we face [no audio] at the highest levels. i think that was proven also in the iraq in a way more active and more effective, the easier it is for the military to do things that they should not be doing. therefore being able to favor the so-called transition. of course, when the civilian casualties take place, we protest and we continue doing it. it is depends it -- painful transition, although when you look at the figures, [no audio] of the taliban, and there is a major [no audio] for the influence of the reports in our meetings, all of the u.s.
military in particular to minimize to the maximum civilian casualties. but one civilian casualty is one too many. therefore we are pushing in that direction. >> question? >> the relationship [no audio] the taliban? >> the shortest questions of the most dangerous one -- are the most dangerous ones. [laughter] have you read the report from nyu? you probably did. i would suggest anyone interested in afghanistan to read it. the report from nyu on this issue, about the relationship between the taliban and al
qaeda. might be and could be. it is an important point. if one day there would be as i hope of reconciliation movement and the political/diplomatic surge, that needs to take place by inducing the facilitating these connections between al qaeda and the taliban. if the taliban disclaim that they are afghans, they should not be in favor of any foreign presence -- not military, but certainly not be able to the associated with other foreign presence. and now, that is so very far and. i think that is a key for future -- in al qaeda is so very thoforeign.
>> with refugees international, no mention about the accountability, and this is a top priority for afghans. so many former warlords in the government, and part of the high peace council, and when you think is the right time and what the roles of the international community will be in that process pressure mark >> it is a constant reminder in our minds and hearts that so many bad things have happened in the past, they cannot be put under the carpet. and certainly among so many afghans who still remember what happened during the civil war
and what happened by a lot warlords and through warlords and in between them. at the same time, when you looked at the current composition of the parliament, this election in my mother's opinion [no audio] not comparing everything. many young, new people, they were babies at the time of the warlords. 26 years old, 28 years old, but if you look at the composition of the parliament and the government, you would see that the current afghan society is very much linked to tribal into power brokers still. if you decided to vote for this type of transition of justice we may produce a major conflict which would then be taking advantage only by one group. but giving up on it, forgetting
about it, for giving it, no. [no audio] when they shook him up, they kept alive the flag of that injustice and of the need of a moment of transitional justice. meanwhile, there would be no chance for later. it can be taken advantage only by one group. >> regional players like iran and pakistan in helping to ensure future stability, but we have someone in the back to once more on a regional settlement. what specifically should regional settlement consist of?
internal sediments -- settlements [no audio]. >> it's exactly what the lady or gentleman said. that is why it is crucial. at this stage, what we need is an internal settlement with the taliban hopefully separated from al qaeda, and therefore talking afghan to afghan. but without the regional glue, exactly that has happened and could happen again. " we need is each of the regional players to be approached separately, and being told, what is the division of the afghanistan regimen what is the picture of afghanistan which would make you shiver or feel comfortable? and then address those, and is
not metaphysics science. [no audio] and at the same time, trying to address those, and they are not complicated, provided they are addressed separately. in a public meeting they will not talk about that. and then have a conference in istanbul where there would be, i would say, is stability pact, putting down some rules of the game through which everyone may respect afghanistan. there will not be a temptation to get too much involved. i think that would be more than enough in afghanistan, if we get that in a regional meeting in istanbul. >> certainly you have many challenges ahead of you to fill the steps you laid out.
we wish you all the best. it is a rare opportunity so thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> vice-president joe biden talked about a plan to boost college graduation rates. his remarks are next on c-span. after that, and interviewer
interviews diane sawyer. then we will hear from the iraqi ambassador to the united states. on tomorrow's "washington journal," we will talk about the military strategy against libya. nora been some held joins us. then fred hochberg on of merit -- on u.s. american president barack obama strip to land america. then rebecca adams will discuss the health care law and what the mean. "washington journal" each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. in advance about the political arrests in the middle is. morocco's foreign minister will talk about the challenges his country faces, live from the brookings institution. and from the carnegie endowment for international peace, the president of the american university in cairo will give her perspective on the recent changes in egypt in the arab
world. that is live at 1:00 eastern. now vice president joe biden talks about increasing graduation rates. his remarks are just under 20 minutes. >> when i have spoken to the leaders and the business community in my state over the last couple of decades, i hear a lot of legitimate concerns and complaints about taxes, corporate taxes, environmental regulations, about the deficit, about the ability to depreciate equipment. but the thing i have heard most consistently, not just in the last five years, but the last 15 years, is that most of you need more skilled workers. i remember 12 years ago there were many jobs for computer
programmers and computer science. they paid an average of $90,000 a year. and we did not have the bodies to fill those slots. imagine what we could do if we took 400,000 $90,000 jobs and sprinkle them like fairy dust in every city in america, giving people in the community to capacity to do that job. it could be transformed to. it could be transformed to. -- it could be transform ative. let me read one quote from this. more than half, 53% of business leaders, say that their companies face of very major challenge in recruiting non-
managerial employees with skills, training, and education to meet their companies' needs. we have not looked at this setup problem. we should look that this is an incredible opportunity. this is for the nation that we change the circumstances. that is what the president and i have set a clear goal. by 2020, america once again will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. we have no other choice. [applause] folks. this could not merely be an aspiration but a necessity. this is a necessity. my wife to let this moment is teaching part of her 15 credits she teaches at every semester, she has a grave expression. in the nation that out-educates us will out-compete us. what do we think? how do we think it is possible
to lead the world in the 21st century as we did in the 20 without a significant change? by now about 40% of our 40 -- are young adults have a college degree. in order to meet that goal by 2020 need to raise that to 60% of young adults. that is a significant task. we should not stop there once we have met that goal. the bottom line is that in the next eight years, we need to produce 8 million more college graduates -- 8 million more than we are producing now. an additional million a year in order to meet the goal. we expect that the 5 million of these to be community college graduates. that is why we are investing to increase in community colleges, not only to help them get there but to increase the quality of
the education that they get at community colleges, the curriculum at community colleges, this ain't your father's community college anymore. this is a different deal. and it is the best buy in america. as i said, if you doubt that, just as my wife? if she will tell you. let's get something else straight. the single best predictor of successful college completion, notwithstanding myths out there, is not family income, it is not parental education, it is not race. although you can trace it back to high school arguably on that. what is it? how academically rigorous a student's high-school curriculum is. one of the things that we are finally buying this notion of
coming down what we think the most challenged neighborhoods and what some challenged students are capable of doing. i remember all the way back to 1985 and 02 in worked in the senate on this. they did a study of those who dropped out of school in watts. they limited it there. it was 1974 to a i think 1984. they went back and interviewed a cadre who had dropped out of school, high school in whites. what was the one thing, they ask, they would make the most difference? and overwhelmingly cancer was if i had been challenged more. -- the cancer was if i had been challenged or, if they expected more of me. my mother had an expression that i think it is proven to be true.
i heard it from her friends in grade school and high school, and she said to me when she was over 80 years old. children tend to become that which you expect of them. children tend to become that which you expect of them. we should expect more but the livermore, as you are fighting to do -- but deliver more, as you are fighting to do. people are literally equipped when graduate. i was at a high school yesterday in wilmington, delaware with arne duncan, which ran the race for the top. i was at a historic black high school, the first in my state. you walked into the classrooms and these kids from disadvantaged neighborhoods were learning about quantum physics.
they have the capacity. they have the capacity to learn. they have the personnel to teach them and will persist. the best way to give our children the best chance is to challenge them the most. i am not one to take your time and talk about it today, but that is why we're so focused on race to the top, to increase not only opportunity but the academic rigor in the schools in which they attend. there is another problem that we need to face. you all know it clearly. we need to make college more financially accessible and more affordable. it is basic. [applause] high no one of those is that almost did not get to college because we could not afford to go and could not afford to borrow from the bank. we were able to get in those
days, a summer job, if you get actually make money at the minimum wage to pay for what was then somewhere around $40 of credit at the university of delaware. try to meet the credit requirements, per credit, and many private institution in america today. you have to be selling something other than ice cream. [laughter] so we need to do more. it wasn't any anti-bank by is. that is why we eliminated some subsidies that private lenders worm getting to make student loans. we increased pell grants. they're non 9 million -- [applause] this is being practical, there are now 9 million working class kids getting pell grants to help them pay for class, 9 million. but unfortunately, the
republicans in the house are working to eviscerate the pell grant program, and we will do every single solitary thing in our power to stop this. too much is at stake and we need your help. too much is at stake. [applause] in addition to that, we created something that i wish was around when my kids were going to college, american opportunity tax credit. up to $160,000, a family can now make $2,500 off of the bottom line of their taxes per child, per year if in fact they are spending enough money to send their kids to college. that covers tuition fees and textbooks. that is a big deal. that is a big, big deal for families. we also note that we had another problem. incredible college debt taken on
by 67% of our students. i'll bet there is not one of you out there, with kids in college, where they did not graduate in debt with a greater debt than the mortgage on your first house. seriously. it is an incredible burden. that is why we capped monthly federal student loan payments at 10% of income so that borrowers do not have to worry about being crushed by the debt after they graduate. and we locked these things end. this is in the tax deal that we made during the lame duck session. we are doing a lot to make sure that cost is not a barrier to americans advancing. but our commitment does not stop there. as important as it is to get our kids to college. we need them to complete our -- their studies, going back to being prepared. more than 70% of high-school
graduates and receive some type advanced degree within two years, but less than half earn a certificate or degree within six years of enrollment. we get an education system that works more like a funnel that does like a pipeline. and we have set a goal. the highest percentage of college graduates by 2020. today we are releasing a strategy to allow us to meet that goal. we call it the college completion tool kit. we'll worked very hard with you in a lot of experts all across america on this tool kit. president obama and nine are calling on each governor, all 50, to hold college completion summons to implement some of these strategies. once we have it, our entire education team are ready to go, get in the plane and go, to the
individual some at the governor's hold to be any help we can possibly be. this tool kit of lays out low- cost and no cost suggestions to get this job done. let me give you a couple of examples. how they have worked. aligning high school exit standards for college entrance standards. the minimum college standards that exist in that state. to get to a university, to get to a community college. 40% of college students should not have to take remedial class is in college. 40% take remedial classes in
college. and when you do the interview hire someone, how many view the minister a writing test and are astounded by the inability of folks to right? you should not be. it makes college more expensive? because it takes more time to finish, it increases the likelihood that students would drop out of college. look, make it easier. another strategy, make it easier for students to transfer. many students transfer least one. arizona make sure that transfer students to not fall through the cracks by introducing credits that transfer among all the colleges in that state. the tendency in indiana and ohio, link higher education funding to levels of improvement in college completion. it is about product.
right now colleges get funded based on enrollment numbers, not on success numbers. in universities must also innovate, and we announced a separate brand program they will reward those colleges and universities the make innovative changes like proposing summer academic boot camps between high school and college, online learning, they can use emergency financial aid because a lot of kids in the dropping out because their car breaks down as a commuter or something happens at the home. help students complete college. [applause] in these grants will be awarded this year. i do not expect them to solve all the problems but we want to encourage innovation. in our budget for 2012, we are also proposing to create what we call a college completion incentive grant. i love all these names.
you confuse all the people of the neighborhood that i grew up in. the me translated into simple language people in my old neighborhood understand. we want to reward states and individual universities and colleges that demonstrates it says in increasing completion rates. and one more thing, because community colleges of critical for meeting our goals we are going to award grants to community colleges that come forward with specific plans to boost completion. we're also getting this money from the $60 billion we saved by not subsidizing student loans through banks. , folks. [applause] we have to increase college completion rates. it is as simple as that. it is not really complicated. hard to do but the concept is
not difficult to grasp. when we talk about leading the world in percentage of college graduates, it is not about winning bragging rights. it is about assuring that every job in this country has the ability to reach his or her potential. that is the only way, the only way america is going to reach its potential. what do we think the rest of the world is doing? what do we think the rest of the world is doing? are they cutting back on access like our republican friends want? do they think that they are not investing more? do they think that china and india and every other competitor we have does not understand that it is the key to their success to be able to compete? if we do not do this, kiss goodbye meeting the 21st century. if we give every child, no matter where they are, where they live, no matter who their parents are, the opportunity and
set high goals and get the research to accomplish it, then everything else will fall into line. it sounds like it is easy. you know how difficult it is. their dreams and their skills are going to lead, allowing you to be able to produce new industries. spawn new businesses, create new jobs, and create an economic future this nation needs. i am basically here to say thank you. you are among the most informed people in the country. you are the people who know what makes this economy run. you know the free enterprise, fuel,ygen that company's the intellectual resources that this nation provides. and it has to be higher octane, that fuel. it has to be higher octane. you know how the system works. you know what you need. making clear to everybody back
in your states in your cities in your town, making it clear to democrats and republicans that this is good business. this is good business. this is good, good for american security. this is good -- there is nothing more critical. so, folks, again i just want to say thank you, god bless you all, and may god protect our troops. thank you very much, and thank you, alma. [applause]
>> tomorrow, a look back at the shooting of president ronald reagan on march 30, 1981. the panel includes the secret service agent who posed president reagan into the waiting limousine, and the doctor who operated on the president. hosted by the newseum, live coverage starts at 7:30 eastern here on c-span. >> we will feature the top winners of this year's c-span studentcam competition. many cemented documentaries on the theme "washington, d.c. through my lenses,"focusing on an issue that help them better understand the federal government. see all of the winning videos online at studentcam.org. >> now conversation with abc
world news anger diane sawyer. this event is hosted by the george washington university global media institute and it is moderated by former cbs and nbc news correspondent marvin kalb. this was held at the national press club. >> from the national press club, this is the kalb report with marvin kalb. [applause] hello and welcome to the national press club. i am marvin kalb. our subject tonight is diane sawyer. a light in news. i do not remember the exact day, but about 35 or 40 years ago, a very bright young woman walked into the cbs news room in washington. everybody looked up and realize d they realized instinctively that someone special had just entered.
someone likely to be on a very fast track as indeed she has been. abc news has kindly provided us with a brief promotional film about diane's career. let's take a look. >> for more than three decades, diane sawyer has been one of the most respected and passionate journalist on television. as anchor, she has shown there is nothing but she cannot do. >> some of the claims have turned into a tasteless joke. >> would you see this document? >> her career began in 1968
when the literature graduate decided to take an unlikely turn. weather girl. she practiced shooting with a camera herself. she learned reporting. she next went to washington to observe a presidency firsthand. she stayed on to help nixon write his memoirs. in 1978, she returned to the news, cbs. in 1984, she made history by becoming the first woman on "60 minutes." >> i am diane sawyer. those stories and andy rooney tonight on "60 minutes." >> in 1989, she joined abc news to create an innovative new magazine program. every week, she traveled the world and interviewed newsmakers. for the years, as she has done award winning investigations into racism, fraud, and the care of a vulnerable.
one report it earned her many awards. >> they search for someone to help them just a few hundred dollars, but the church is portrayed no money can be found. >> i want my own room. >> i am never going to get it. >> i am diane sawyer from louisville, kentucky, the new kid on the block. >> in 1999, the she added another job. two years later, she and charlie would watch and report on 9/11, as it played out live. >> it affects the reporters who have been trained for so long. >>she would soon make her way down to ground zero. >> it is a curious scene. -- eerie scene.
>> in december 2009, after 11 years, she moved on from "good morning, america" and became anchor of "world news." as always, she has her bags packed for the big story. >> people are asking, what will help arrived? i have covered a lot of disasters around the world and have never seen this. a quake, tsunami, and nuclear fears. >> she has won every award. she has earned the respect of her viewers. >> have you ever personally killed someone opposed to you? >> a sense of wonder for the news of the day. they can turn on the television and diane will be there every night. [applause] >> it is my pleasure to welcome you to "the kalb report."
as we open this conference. the international women's media foundation. many members are in the audience eager to hear about your career, your take on the news business which remains indispensable of a functioning free society. you are clearly at the top of your career. first and foremost, you consider yourself a journalist. you are also an anchor. in the world of television news, that is very special. describe for us what is so special about being an anchor. >> it is very special just be sitting here with you. i want to say something. you have to hear this. [laughter] when i first walked into cbs news, all i remember is when i was sent to cover the state
department with marvin kalb. i came in and secretaries of state for calling you and i could not get a phone call returned from an answering machine. from the coastal region desk. for me, this is a true panicle. -- pinnacle. this is a dream to be back home. ok, now. highjacking your interview, is that what you are worried about? it is to try as much as possible to be the 360 degree radar of the day, of the morning, of the driving question that has to take you through a broadcast. it is such a gift to be able to throw to incredible correspondents, it is such a
gift to be able to report the stories of some of the women you have here in the conference, reports with such incredible bravery. it seems to me that to be an anchor is to be a witness to the world's questions and the way it presents itself in terms of priorities. it is a chance to make decisions that you hope someone will look up and say, i did not know that. don hewitt taught me that was the first question. the single first and most wonderful question. the second thing is, this has helped me with my life.
now i understand. this week's me up. it wakes me up to the world. i see the job as to say, how do we wake up ourselves, our questions, and are reporting? >> waking up the world, what do you see is your own special responsibility? when you arrive in your office, what is it that you were looking for? >> i am persistent. i have strong opinions. to have strong opinions that can excited conversation. i do not make all the decisions. we are very much a collegial production. we are a group of people sitting around a room every day. my job is sometimes to try to be as fearless as i can be and say, let's do this.
let's try this. heaven knows i am old. what have i got to lose? let's do something fearless today. let's try something today. >> has a general or a president called you and said, hey, diane, i know you guys are about to run a story. please do not do that. what was your response? has that ever happened to you? >> i know that it happened in the capacity of "world news." charlie has told me in the past about the dilemma. i do think that everyone is a careful decision weighed heavily with our dual responsibility not to put lives at risk and to stay true to our contract with the american people. >> according to the research center, more americans under the
age of 30 get their news from the internet, not from television. how do you adjust to this new reality? >> we are on twitter. i am not on twitter. but i am on facebook. i think it is the most exciting vitality during the day to see all the different ways and we can see it right at "world news." we can see all the different conversations going on at once. at the same time, i interviewed secretary clinton today, the picture is going out. we are saying something about what is happening at that moment. it is a great opportunity to take people behind the scenes and to hear that -- i cannot
tell you how often we hear from facebook or something coming into the "world news" tweets. of course, that is a question. the giant cacophony, the giant democracy, the giant chorus. chickens from time to reach right through you at the moment that it -- can sometimes reach right for you at the moment that you need is the most. >> do you see the new world of the internet is your major competition? >> it is still you. i'm going to go back to the state department. i do not see it as a competition. i really do not. if we do not think about what we do, that is the forum of ideas. we have to be out there creating a unique and important
conversation so that you also want to come to us. >> i do notice that you do carry on a conversation with the audience as opposed to the old days. is that deliberate? >> that is just me. i do not have one of those voices. no, i do not. i said to charlie, the opening of the show, tonight, on "world news." i said, i cannot do that. i always wish i had one of those, but i do not have it. some of that is just a function of the physiology of the vocal cords. >> what i'm trying to get at, how do you persuade so many
i saw that. emerging from archaeological dig. let me tackle the question. by breaking some of the conventions and the formulas, we are still in the moment when the news is breaking and to come to broadcast television. when you are there with us, we do not have to -- -- we do not have to make an argument. >> that is a good point. you recently come back from a trip to japan. we're now here in washington talking as we tape this. you were there to cover another extraordinary story overseas. what i am trying to understand is, why did you make that trip? if you answer me, because it was a great story, that is done enough. -- a that is not enough. you have so many responsibilities that cut into a decision. it costs a lot to send you and a group of people overseas. why you do that? why did you make the trip to japan? >> i wish i could say that it was a science and theory.
to go. it is not his that i covered the tsunami in indonesia or southeast asia, but i felt it was a story i had to experience tangibly. this incredible constellation of disasters -- at that moment, i felt there was a reason for the entire broadcast to be there. part of being an anchor is a decision, where are your best their anchoring? the anchor of a relay race. when is the best for you to take the whole broadcasting go overseas?
it does change that balance. in the middle east, there were a host of correspondence who were there and who were fantastic. it is a case-by-case decision, but it is so much about the entire podcast. >> tell me about the cuts setter being made at networks these days. people need to be cut from "world news"? >> everybody was involved. >> how many people are on the staff? >> kathy, where are you? i think we have close to 100. we have freelance people coming in, freelance editors. we did have to cut from that number.
it was anguishing. >> the program itself lose money? >> i do not know. i do not to the budget. i have never asked how much it cost to go to japan. i did not want to know. [laughter] it is not my problem. >> do the cuts in staff affect the quality of what it is that you are giving to the american people? >> i think sometimes initially it has and does -affect our exhaustion.
and our attention. and our feeling of, joe and mary did this. how are we going to do this in any way? this is in no way to say that it was not a true heart breaks for everybody who's colleagues left, our responsibility is to look at what we are doing and his said, are we deploying our resources? to sharpen and home those within it. i always look back. one of the first stories ever did was in africa and i remember that i was awake in the middle of the night and the desert and we were going out and exploring.
i looked up and we had a crane that had been flown in and the crane this opinion over the trees -- was sobbing in over the trees. it never occurred to anyone to say, is this the right expenditure of money? should be weak -- should we be concentrating on the story that we want to bring you? i still remember them standing there. they have those beautiful faces. they're going -- [laughter] some of the task force us to rededicate to the things we know r a part of what we should
be doing. >> at this particular point, there is a lot of -- an eruption of stories over the world. we have seen just in the first three months of the year. do you think that the american people are interested in foreign news? at that does not include american casualties and american troops. are the american people absorbed in the world? >> i believe the american people are absorbed in anything new and that will make them feel smarter or more part of the community. give them better grasp of the globe. i will believe it until the last countdown of the last broadcast. i know it is true.
>> do you divide up the show? on a normal day, do you divide it up? foreign, national? >> no. there is no explicit or implicit quota of any kind. it is only the complex of what we are telling you. are we world news? are we doing what "world news" does? i remember someone saying to me when i was called with richard nixon working on his memoirs, this is not the book, this is a book. we know that this is not the
broadcast. we have to mylonite. -- we have tomorrow night. this is a broadcast and we will be back again tomorrow night. >> if you've got -- if you do you look after the ratings? >> i know you will not believe this. [laughter] rating sail in to me because someone looks -- i do not check them. i did not check them myself. i told our executive producer to check them someplace else because i study his face afterward. i would rather not. i get as excited as anyone that i know something we cared about connected with an audience. i love that. but i simply do not want to be hostage to that. >> what about abc, the corporation itself?
>> i assume they do. >> but they do not talk to you about it? >> only in the most general terms. >> they are not going to sit down and say, diane, if we had done this -- >> no. >> but that simply does not matter. >> i honestly can say to you -- i do not know of a single time in my entire career when i could not cover the story i wanted because of money. never have heard it. ever.
>> do you remember 30 years ago, you could do these kinds of things without anybody questioning you. the budget was so much larger. and there were fewer people watching after you on monday. but there are many more people today, watching after you on monday. but you seem to be in the middle of the storm without it affecting you. >> i am not insulated. there are broadcast decisions all around me. all i am saying is, if we go to the management's and we say, we need to cover the story, we get to cover that story. >> ok. >> there are decisions probably made that always did not come to me, but you can bring them to me. if we feel this is central to what we do, we can say, let's do it. look at the way we cover the middle east. the number of people deployed on the number of countries and the number of nights, i have no idea
how much that cost. it was never passed. it was never a question and never doubted. she has interviewed mubarak more than i have. if anyone can get through to mubarak -- >> she is extraordinary. let's take a quick break selecting reminder viewing and listening audience is that this is "the kalb report." i am talking to diane sawyer. do you feel that women in the business of finally arrived? they no longer have to break ceilings.
>> i think that women have arrived in many ways, in many venues. i think you look around at management. the the this is part of what we do is not as accelerated as the on-air part of what we do. you can see who is doing what's on television. you can make your decision on the air. there is a feeling that it is still sometimes a bit of a struggle. heaven knows around this globe, there is an inconceivable mountain that we'll have to climb together. looking at a duty woodruff and thinking about those days, i
wonder how many women there were out on those convention floors. not so many of us were there. i do believe that every broadcast on it abc news has a female anchor now. i do think that is an achievement and it makes a big difference. i had to do a conference once at sun valley. i called jack welch and i said, tell me what you have learned about putting rocket fuel behind women in the workplace. what do you know about it? you have a direct correlation to the success of the company. it is a business piece of evidence that you've got.
he said, numbers. it is not about to having women, but it is about having some number of women. if you get women in a room and you have a certain number, it is a different news room. he said, that is what we have to concentrate on. it is that number that actually controls the gps of a great organization. >> if you look at the number of women you are now covering some
any of the war zones, my sense is that there are more women out there than men covering the news. i do not know if that is right. i am sure the foundation could provide the numbers on this. that is my impression. there has to be extraordinary progress in one area. >> i do not think there is any hesitation anymore. >> when you were first at cbs and you were the first female reporter at "60 minutes," what was it like? >> i had no idea what i was walking into. mike wallace. i knew i was in trouble when an entire group of us walk down the hall ended ended in the men's room. it must be very useful to know what they're going to do. all i can say is that i had a certain obliviousness because i think -- not because it was a
female, but new kids always got a bit of initiation. >> when you went over to abc, was a much better? >> it was different because i had walked in as the first on- air correspondent there. it was a lot of learning. it was hilarious and wonderful, too. i would like to think that it was like just going into a circuit training course. when i got to abc, i was a co- anchor with sam donaldson. it was understood that we were there and we were starting to gather and it was nail biting. it was a disaster at the beginning. we were actually a "saturday night live" skit. >> you were not that bad. >> we were pretty bad. we had to figure it out as we
went along. >> i want to ask you about social media. we have seen and discussed a lot of that and it has played a rather major role in the coverage of some of these stories in the middle east. you have used footage provided by people you do not know pointing in this direction when something even more important might have been happening behind the person holding the camera.
how do you feel about using that kind of material on your show when you really do not know the origin of a lot of the stuff? >> we always tell you where we got it. that we got it through youtube. >> that does not mean -- >> i understand that. but are viewers do know the different frames of pedigree that you have. we do also call and do our very best to verify everything that we're putting on the air. >> it is a question when you get into something so fast- moving and to pick up footage because you do not have your own people.
the tendency on television is to show something. if you have something, it seems to me that the temptation sometimes would be to use it, even without that extra check. >> we really do try to be as judicious as the time when we are looking at something that is not a lot of people singing on ""american idol." we try to be as careful as we time because we have seen it and we have seen it in situations where we never want to change the story based on something we do not know as much about as the time. >> it is interesting. i do not know -- talking about the power of this new means of
communication. in terms of fashioning the new political outcome or attempting to. that new communications revolution has had more to do with the changes in the middle east than anything else. from your vantage point, do you share that feeling? >> it is impossible not to see and be stunned by the immediate pilot light of hope that goes on when people are hearing from people who are connected to them. when those first signal starts coming out and somebody is responding and you know there is a voice in there and that voice is hearing you, it is
impossible not to believe. it is a holding a force in the world. mark zuckerberg said, this will be a giant force for democracy. you can call me all you want and you can hammer me all you want for believing that we have to go big, bold, and abroad rather than being driven by such privacy constraints, by driven by such considerations of privacy, he would take his chance on friending the world. he believes it. absolutely believe that this would happen.
>> in this whole new world of communication, there is fox news. [laughter] i was wondering what you thought of fox news. [laughter] >> i watch fox news. i watch cnn, too. i am going to be in rehab some day. i think you can learn so much from the excitement of the people on fox news about what they are telling you. and about what they are bringing to every story. i think the american people are enormously smart and they are enormously, collectively so discerning about making their own judgments that they move
from -- and i do not think ideas can be labeled with the people who hold the money spectrum. people can make their mind up about ideas. i do think that the people who hear something are surrounded by a lot of information. and can check it in a lot of ways. i am not going to -- i am a universal watcher and i learn. >> it is a noble sentiment. [laughter] >> do you not watch? >> i watch it all the time. i'm just kidding. what i am getting at is opinion in the world of news and you
have a stunningly -- >> do you think people know they are getting opinion in the world of news? >> i think they know. i think people like to be challenged. just as you like to be challenged by someone at the dinner table, you like to say, i disagree with you. that is also how we learn, too. >> there is no question about that. i am talking about the world of news. where you were raised and where you have then -- has been set for a long time. people might like to believe that then this is where you get information, not opinion. we are now in a world where there is so much more opinion
than straight, hard news. no matter how gloriously intelligent every person is, it may be difficult on occasion to distinguish one from the other. i am listening to you say, the american people make that distinction. >> i believe they do. i do not know about news. we know that we have to bring the fact that we seek out every day the same degree of passion and enthusiasm. you do not know this, but i cannot wait to tell you this. i know how pollyanna this might sound to you, but i feel the way for us to strengthen how much we believe in the fact that
will anchor your opinion and keep introducing those. we are not -- >> i hope you are right. what are your sources of information? >> i do not know where to begin. i read much about six papers each morning. i watched "good morning, america." i do not have to give up at 3:45 in the morning anymore, which i did for 11 years. i get into the office and we
stand the e-mail that are coming in. there are fantastic. i wish we could introduce you'd sometime to the debates that go on at abc news between -- that alone is worth stopping everything you are doing. i read "the daily beast." i stay all day long, i can see a complete quilts of screens and i can see what is going on. >> do you have a favorite website? a place where you feel you must check in every day? >> i checked in with each of them. before i go to bed at night, i
checked into those three. >> do you eat during the course of the day? >> copiously. >> let me ask you a couple of questions. the wikileaks story, if you or bill keller and you had the chance to get thousands of interesting, fascinating, top- secret cables from the u.s. government, what would you do? would you do what keller did? >> each of us has our own star we steer by. we reported on them. we did put them on the air. if they had come to us, i would like to think we would have done what bill did.
but we would of been deliberate about it. he most trusts sad revolutionaries and you have to sometimes live in the contradictions in these moments in journalism. if you are reluctant to do anything that my even inadvertently compromise a life because you do not know who was being exposed, that is sure beginning. i assume they did everything they could predict then you just have to make your individual decision about how much time you have and what the proportion is.
there was a lot of it that was -- you and i know this. i am sure he assumed no one had read his cable. i think that what we learn from them and we would have broadcast from them would have been what we thought illuminated the world. >> bill argued that he did it because it was news and after due diligence, he felt that however embarrassing invited into the u.s. government, it was news and he wanted to run with it.
he did it and he is not sorry. do you buy into that? >> thank you except his reasoning? perhaps. i do. >> does that mean that almost anything after due diligence is publishable or broadcastable. >> no, and we do not know where the no is. we did make decisions. we make decisions that they are not to broadcastable by our guidelines. i think we have to watch out for universal's. we are in the business of
looking at the constellation of the question presented to us every time. if i thought there were universal standards, i am not sure i would know how to behave as a reporter. we do make judgments about what encourages copycat criminal behavior. we make those judgments. >> it is not only universal values, but there are national interests that are involved. i am wondering whether you think an anchor also has a responsibility to the national interest of the country. does that run through your mind also? >> yes, of course. of course. >> to the point of saying that because of that, i am not going
to run those cables? they were put out basically to embarrass the united states and i do not want to participate. >> would you have run the pentagon papers? >> different story. >> would you have done it? >> absolutely. >> because? >> pentagon papers was released to the public by one person angry at one war that he thought was unjust. is julian assange a journalist? >> does someone have to be certified journalist before you will except the information? >> no. wait a minute. i am interviewing you.
[laughter] wait a minute. let's go to another subject. [laughter] in the 1970's, you worked for president nixon, you were both in the white house and you followed him not to california. those were extraordinary times. you had a great scene on history as a was unfolding right in front of you. please help me understand your continuing loyalty to a president who had embarrassed the country, had lied to the american people, gave birth to the watergate scandal -- help me out. >> it wasn't about that. in a funny way, it was how i
lived up what my father had always taught me. if you walk away from someone at the worst time, that is also a choice that has implications for you are and to you want to be. i had been there to go to china with your brother. i had been there through all the times, the end of the signing of the treaty of the vietnam war. i'd been there for those times. there were a handful of us who were asked to go. i was asked to go for a very specific reason, which was
mysteriously, i had read so many things for the first round. one of the lawyer said, you can tell us if what we are saying is not true based on what the reporting has been. that kind of traffic light on what we are saying are not saying. for me to say no in that moment, it was for me to assume that i had, i guess, some personal sanctimony that i do not have. i do believe that people can redeem themselves. i saw what was done. i saw it. i saw it on the inside. we all know what a ghastly bruise that was. i was one person out of five in
the worst moment for them. i just wouldn't have known. >> i understand. obviously, there was another answer. >> i could have said no. i did think i was going out for a few months. i did not know what was going to happen in each stage. the choices that were made that were made. there were people resigned, they wrote books, letters, i will never do that. i just won't. >> president nixon had an enemies list. i know it because i was on hand.
[laughter] for example, would you have known about an enemies list at the time? >> no. >> how difficult for it you to make the journey from political partisanship to objective journalism? you've done that quite well. >> even though my father was into republican politics in kentucky, not many people were. believe it or not, i did not go to the white house as a partisan. i went because i had been a weather girl and a very bad weather girl and my father died and i was with my mother for a here at home. she asked me if i would go and do something else because she felt that i was staying there for her.
i began to look at other things. truly, i thought the white house would be interesting. i interviewed with the news division at the same time and was rejected. i ended up at the white house because i thought it would be interesting. to me, it was not one president or the other. it was to learn what the crucible could possibly be like. >> if you have one more interview to do, who would be with? >> well, i think the pope. >> i would have liked the other pope. >> john. this pope would be very interesting, too. we have written letters. i suspect that i won't. i am not at the top of his list. >> what is your sense of the future of american journalism? >> i think every one of these students in this room is going to go out and change the world.
i think we have not yet experienced what it is to stand arm and arm as journalists on facts that we know can be the leader in which you can move the globe. >> diane, we are out of time. i am very unhappy to the knowledge that. let me thank our wonderful audience, including the international women's media foundation. [applause] the many people all over the country and the world who watched the kalb report. for those is still cherish the role of a free press in stimulating a free society and finally my thanks to diane sawyer.
course. you ask the question, you do not make a speech. if you go on too long, i will be impolite. please give us your name and any organizational association that he may have. >> i am sarah snyder. i am a sophomore. what is the most fun part of your job? what is the most difficult part of your job? >> the most fun is getting to wrestle a story together. that is how you know you are intellectually alive. the hardest part is hair and makeup. if i could do radio, i would be doing radio. when they come at you, at 4:00 in the morning comment it was misery. i have never liked the growing part of television.
-- grooming part of television. people are paying you to be curious. you have to tell me more about that. what is greater career bliss then that every day? >> thank you very much. >> i am a freshman at george washington. you've had such a great career. was there any definitive moment for opportunity that you had that got your career jump started? >> looking at this, my first story was three mile island. when i got to cbs. i had been there a few months and i've been so paralyzed with fear because of all the people that were there, the great history.
the first thing they gave me to do was a radio story to write. susan came into me and said, ok, i threw up a lot my first year. she helps me. this is really true, i am speeding in my car to three mile island. i think, the reactor is going to blow up. wait a minute. roger is not going. they think i am expendable. i covered the story, knee
knocking, and a cover the story with a lot of nuclear information to i'm part. then i would submit it was the 3 billion could get ahold of. i got a hold of every single name of of anyone -- and the woods get the name of everybody i could get ahold of. i got a hold of every single name of anyone who had worked there. >> i am a student at george washington university and a part-time reporter. my question is impart about the nixon administration. earlier in your career, you were involved in republican politics, helping nixon write his memoirs. how was wondering what will you have in politics aside from reporting? -- i was wondering what role you
have in politics aside from reporting? what involvement do you have? >> one of my proudest things is that my husband -- he will tell you if you want to call them at home -- he does not know my politics. has no idea. [applause] by the way, i meant what i said to you earlier. i did not come as a partisan. i love it, but i love it as someone who loves hearing all sides all the time. >> ok. yes, please. >> i am a freshman at gw as well. what advice you have for young people, especially women, looking to break into the realm of media? >> good. >> i am a big believer that you
can still go to small market and learn a whole lot about becoming a reporter, the truth about becoming a reporter. i sent my godson to weigh teeny weeny -- to a teeny weeny little market someplace in nebraska. he wrote me a note and he said, "you told me how to handle everything except how to handle the sheep gnawing through my microphone." [laughter] i love local coverage and i love what you learn in local coverage. i also think that the more you can actually believe in your heart, it is not about technique in the year. i-- in the air.
>> thank you so much for coming this evening. i am a senior at the george washington university. there was a point where you started anchoring world news tonight when you're also working on anchor in good morning america. i wondered how you managed to do both at the same time. >> really grouchily. [laughter] after 11 years at good morning america, it was sometimes a physical achievement just to make it out in the morning. it was six different wake up calls. i'm just bone tired. sometimes i think i cannot make it through a day, an interview -- some of you have seen me as
recently as today. i think, canada. and, by george, when i get their hands -- i think, i cannot do it. and, by george, when i get there, it is just better than a beach wilts shock. i had just come up from south dakota. we stayed up all night, came back, went to japan, stayed up all night every night, came back, and it was libya. and then came into work in the weekend on libya if he did not like the material, i do not know what you would do. >> ask for a raise. [laughter] >> i am a freshman at george washington university. in the beginning of your career, being such a pioneer for women in the industry, did you ever anticipate the amount of success to have acquired thus
far? >> you are very kind. i never thought in those terms at all. no, i did not know where it was going. i was just doing what i was doing at the time in a modicum of panic. he pulled levens said, are you sure you want to do this because i do not think -- he pulled me in and said, are you sure you want to do this because i do not think you will go very far? >> i like doing the postal negotiations, too. i never saw a career. i just saw what i got to do that day, that year. >> good for you. yes, please. >> i am a gw alum.
when marvin asked where you get your information, you only mentioned u.s. or american-based media. is that to say that you do not obtain information from foreign- based media outlets? >> i do, but i tend to do that through our overseas bureaus who report in every moment -- in every morning what is in the local newspapers, what they have been seeing on television, with the stories are. they are really good. >> we have about four minutes left. i noticed that least 15 questioners. what i will arbitrarily decided now is -- let me hear some of the questions from you, like the first three people in a row. ask your questions. >> i have heard a lot of stories of reporters who have reported
at 9/11 or at hurricane katrina who had a difficult time during their job because of all the human suffering they were witnessing. have you had those moments in your career and what were they? >> hang on. yes, please. >> to many of us here tonight, especially to students, you are our role model. your someone i highly admire. when you were our age or a college student, who was someone you admire and found influential? >> third. >> i am an international student from taiwan. i would like to know, when you are an aged 25, what was the special codification that the white house wanted to hire you from a weather girl? [laughter] [applause] i really want to know. >> see if you can do all three
in one minute. >> i will try to do all three. the woman i admire the most -- i have a mother and an aunt who are as interested as exist on the face of the earth. intrepid as it exists on the face of the earth. at the white house, i do not know with your thinking. i was a bad weather girl. i did not have my glasses and i cannot even see the west coast. go look it up. [laughter] and the other one was in school, thinking about what you do? what was the third one? a friend of mine said the other day that i still have a photographic memory, but not same-day service. [laughter] >> covering tragedies.
>> thank you very much, you young would for snapper. [laughter] you young whippersnapper. [laughter] yes, it practically takes you down. if you believe that your job is to make of the people feel something and maybe respond, then you just pick yourself up and go do it. but, sure. >> 3 in a row. we will go in here because we have not heard from many delegates yet. they have questions. >> please. >> i am from palestine. i am not students. i have a question. as a woman, over all those years, have you had moments when you felt discriminated against
as a woman? >> good. >> thank you. >> another delicate question. >> i am from -- will you be interested to be in this country when -- people are kidnapped and journalists are jail there. seven presidential candidates from democratic forces are arrested. 56 people are facing 15 years in jail. we still have kgb. would you would beat -- would you be interested in going there and doing your reportage? >> let's get those two questions answered first. >> yes, it would. i did a story once in what we call it "have a nice day, racism."
we were sitting outside of saddam hussein's palace. we always wanted to see if we could capture on camera the ultra high-frequency racism. and we did this story. i believe it is still being shown in some places, at some universities. i always felt that there were reflexes that i encountered that were not dim discrimination as such, but invaded reflexes and you have to sometimes fear around them, come back three times, come back four times, and prove yourself in other ways. but i know that it is there in in demint ways -- in endemic ways and we have to make sure that we go out and be those hands that i was talking about, those hands that go out and say we know what you're experiencing.
look, we're here and we are here a billion strong to be on your side. >> ok. yes, the third person. >> i am a student from the george washington university. over the years, you have encountered and reported on so much devastation, how do you remain so strong and persistent when reporting such heart wrenching stories? >> again, i think they are the people who needed to the most. that is why we do it. they are the ones counting on us the most. how can we possibly say it is too tough for me? i cannot say that. >> right. >> two or three in a row. >> i am a journalism student at ithaca college.
i am interning year. i think that what a lot of journalism students are worried about this year, with some as downsizing, it seems that the only way to break into the journalism in a straight and make it a career is to be unpaid for a very long time. [laughter] i am wondering how you suggest us to break into the industry and get our foot in the door and make it a career rather than something we are lucky to be paid to do. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. thank you so much. i have
-- will make travel, we depend so much off and on the women journalists to be with us there. not being paid, i do think that there is a seismic shift. there is a lot of anxiety about getting the job that locks sen. there is a lot of uncertainty the area if he possibly can, try to spend those two weeks or a month to doing something, even if they cannot pay you. i know too many people in those two weeks and months and got the job. it is simply someone getting to see what you can do.
i know that there is that uncertainty. i also know that a lot of the people at abc news had a door opened it that way. the gang violence, for another time. >> we are really out of time. i apologize to all of you who did not have a chance to ask a question. we are out of time. i want to extend the buys to all of the people, all of the women reporters and executives, who were here tonight. you continue to do all of the word you are doing. [applause] >> thank you all very much. >> thank you for joining us tonight. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
it priority in the coming months of the the transition to forces appeare. >> we will talk about the military strikes against libya. and president obama's trips to latin america. after that, we will discuss the health care laws. later, a couple of the vent about the political unrest in the middle east. the foreign minister will talk about the challenges the country faces.
then the president of the beckham university in cairo will give her perspective on the recent changes in egypt and the arab world. that is why the 1:00 eastern. >> now a conversation on u.s./iraq relations. this was held at the center for public policy in knoxville tennessee. this offers as a very special opportunity to engage in a conversation with his excellency.
>> well done. about q is the embassador whitby ambassador into will talk to less about a very important question. u.s.? before introducing the ambassador formally come out like to extend a welcome to former united states senators. they have done this for today's lecture. [unintelligible] [applause] i'm glad he hails from the great state of tennessee. certification in the and i did states senate from 1967 to 1985. he is the person in his long and distinguished public service 6 to honor through the works that so proudly bears his name. inouye it is always a privilege
to have you with us. of kansas, who served with distinction in the united states senate from 1978 to 1978, who i now claim to be at least well grounded in tennessee is still rooted in kansas. we are very glad to have you here. here today is money coming. hero after numerous years of great service serbs as the night did states ambassador to 1984-1989. the thank you for your service. the other ambassador was appointed to serve as our ambassador to japan. he did so with distinction from 2001 to 2005. it is this service that inspired as far lecture series. two other people who i like to mention -- they are sitting at the head table.
they are native of iraq. i am pleased to say that they are meeting for the first time and not still. and led to a they now make knox build their home. we are fortunate. it is through their good bodices that we had the pleasure to welcome the ambassador samir suaiidai to the university of tennessee. thank you for this. you see a little pamphlets with the united states constitution.
this has been made available. it is very generous. i've been talking with them. our plan will be to add to our collection the bill of rights of the republic of iraq as well. we think that'll be a fitting addition to what i think will be a continuation of the collection at the baker's center. we so badly and tried to honor them. with that, i turn to my special privilege. he currently serves in washington, d.c.
opposition conference throughout the world during this amount of time. he would become the principal political leaders. he served as the minister of the interior and baghdad. he managed domestic security forces. he served as a member of the devaney council. he played an integral role in the founding of the iraqi telecoms and media commission.
here is appointed a prominent representative to the united nation, assume the responsibilities well until he assumed his current position in 2006. apart from all of this, he enjoys a wide variety of cultural interests. one is including arabic poetry. for though the use -- for those recommend you- i to the website. he is also interested in arabic calligraphy. there is a mournful and separate -- there are some wonderful examples of this on his website. please come and join me in a warm welcome to professor samir
let me start by saying that's that it is still controversial. we will leave this to historians to examine this in the decades to come. be,ever the judgment qill we cannot c hange that the intervention has taken place. we cannot change the fact that the interest of the united states and the interest of my country are intertwined. i think they will be and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
this year will prove to be a very important one for the center interested in the middle east. it will be seen for many years to come. why is this region importance? why is iraq important for the united states? look at it from the perspective of the united states. it is necessary to keep the wills of the international
economy. the wheels of the international economy turning. it is also the source of considerable concern. the conflict has taken considerable patience across the islamic world. it is extremely important to have the ability which will directly impact the security of the united states. it is very important. it is also important because it
is one of the areas which is the backdrop of the history of western culture. and you will find them in that region. of the things we take for granted in everyday life here started in that region. that may take my country for a start. many people say iraq is the cradle of civilization. they do not realize how much it has contributed to civilization. the first ever states of an
the new one iraq took has been impacted by certain decisions in the early stages of the intervention. they really wanted to create this. there were well-informed about the nature of the country and society. they simply came with their own baggage. they can turn this country into a democracy resembling what they have at home. it is a rather nice eve outlook. the push toward this.
there is privatization of public sectors. it is before we were ready for that. you have a tradition. you have governments. people have learned how to do this. in iraq, we do not have this capacity. the council did not know what to do. they had no idea about how to create a budget. they spent the time arguing amongst themselves. this has been a learning
process both for our american friends and for us. democracy is not a tangible object to give to someone. it is a democracy. it is a complex system of relationships. it is a personal attitude. democracy cannot be reduced to just the exercise of elections. democracy has to involve looking up from minorities. if a tax everyone's right.
the choices matter. there are lines they must not cross. when all this happen, we reached the level of democracy. it continues to be improved all the time. they are still struggling. i nurses the supreme court made a judgment about the question about that. this is an ongoing process to adjust and approved.
[unintelligible] the kurds in iraq have their region. some might say there is too much. we are not proud of that. we believe they have pared far better than our neighboring countries. we do have a feared a far better than our neighboring countries. they have fareda have better than our neighboring countries. that is an important achievement. it cannot be resolved through violence. we have to work through them.
looking around them feel secure. they are surrounded by friends. it is difficult for you to imagine the mine said. they are leaving his or her house every morning not known. sinden and children to school done knowing if they are coming back or they will be kidnapped or hurts. this permanent state of terror is pretax thing. -- very taxing. it makes people behave not totally normally and 80, -- and
they, prone to extreme positions. we have to deal with all of that. one thing on our side is the resiliency of the iraqi people. they have demonstrated such resilience and such perseverance that make me really proud. when i was minister of interior in baghdad, i saw the most horrific examples terrorism. but i witnessed great heroism by ordinary people, by women who insist every day on going out and helping others. at great risk to themselves. i lost also a number of my closest friends to terrorists.
one of them lost three sons and they were both killed. he told the me when i was talking to him and asking him whether saw -- whether he thought it was worth its if they could still go on. he said, the idea of stopping it never crossed my mind. they're going through a lot. they are determined to complete the course. the question is whether the
americans will complete the course with them. i think this great country and the great people of america know instinctively what is right and what is wrong. they know they have done a great deal to help iraq in respect of of whether they were against the war or with the war. they know that success is within sight and it can be achieved if they can stand by a this young country. ultimately, although they have a lot of concerns, a lot of issues, ultimately, i think we will continue to have the support of the united states.
a final few remarks about the reasons development and the middle east. the middle east is now on fire. mes others james -- regin that were secured -- we never expected to have shaken -- they are now blowing in the wind. leaders who fought they can prepare their countries for their sons to take over have already left with their sons. has this got anything to do with iraq? maybe iraq was an inspiration.
maybe this site of millions of people going to elections in which the outcome is not predetermined inspired some, but this is part of the story, not the whole story. the story also has the elements of young people who are computer savvy, well-informed, know what is going on in the world. they have decided that they had had enough. they will not stand and they deserve something better. they will stand up and fight for it, and a dead. in tunisia, in egypt, now in libya, and bahrain and again and
-- and yemen, right across the middle east. this is good news. this is good news. they have been behind the rest of the world in terms of democracy, freedom, women's rights, education, the economy, growth. the system had to be unblocked this development, despite the fact that the outcome is not preordained, despite the fact that we might have a lot of hiccups and setbacks, ultimately, it will be opening up the region. the regional reintegrate with the rest of the world and move forward. iraq will be a cornerstone of that process. iraq, despite all the things i
said, is not yet out of the woods. we still have serious challenges, but i am on optimistic. very optimistic. i have to accept that there might be some serious setbacks. i believe it is in the interest of the united states to continue to stand with us. i believe that iraq really matters to the united states. if the united states loses the war in afghanistan, this would not be a major long-term strategy goal. if the united states loses its objectives in iraq. that would be a fatal blow for the united states.
with that, i will stop. i will answer questions. thank you very much. [applause] >> the ambassador does welcome questions. he had a wonderful afternoon, fielding questions from the students. please just wait for a microphone to, to you. >> ambassador, i want to thank you. i understand my own democracy better than i did before. which is humbling, the very true. thank you. i wonder if as you talked about the success with the kurds, what your thoughts are in the kind of short-term pluralistic issues.
>> thank you. this question of attention -- tension was played up by the americans. traditionally, iraq is not a sectarian country. it is not the same as lebanon, for example. for northern ireland. we grew up not knowing -- we of not less than 30% of marriages in our towns and cities are mixed marriages. a large number of our children have different parents. it was part of being a rocky. -- iraqui.
americans came to iraq as part of this naive attitude. thinking that, iraq is made up -- it was taken for granted that the three communities are at each other's throats. if only we can get them, we can solve the problem. it was not like this. however, a political system which gives us much greater prominence that it should have been given. in my humble view. when people were talking in washington years ago about a civil war, i kept saying, there is built civil war in iraq.
there is, however, a war on civilians, by malicious and extremists -- militias and extremists. the iraqi people defeated. extremists and militias were slaughtering ordinary citizens with no reason other than the fact -- people have turned against those extremists. have reduced their impact. they still can do harm, but i do not believe they can change the political system. having said that, at least some
of our neighbors have a stake in this. they can derive more power and influence if they stop this fire. unfortunately, they do. >> [inaudible] and one about the integration in the north. -- i am wondering about the integration in the north with the rest of the rock. -- iraq. i'm wondering how well you assess -- >> let me tell you how well.
the biggest city is baghdad. the biggest number of kurds live in baghdad. my boss, the foreign minister, is occurred -- a kurd. how much more integration do you want? [laughter] >> [inaudible] there are a lot of refugees from iraq. do you see them coming back to iraq? >> thank you for this question. this is a very important question, actually. over the past two decades, iraq has been bleeding.
the educated segment of society have been leaving in droves. college professors, the entrepreneurs, industrialists have been leading the country for a combination of reasons. this has reduced our ability and capacity to manage the transition and move forward and rebuild the country. i always say that a whole society -- we have two iraqs. the professional, there are productive, educated. they are in rocky -- iraqi, but
not in iraq. they are practicing medicine in the united kingdom. that makes it extremely difficult. when will enough of them go to help us? only when conditions improve inside the country, we answered cheap -- with security and improved the level they feel safe. i believe we're getting there. when there are opportunities for them to make real contributions. somebody who has specialized in a very prime branch of science and is working in an industry to go back to iraq, there is no infrastructure for that person to continue.
it is not going to be the people going back unsettling in the country directly, but it will be surgeons going back to iraq to do operations for the month of the year. professors going to teach for a semester. gradual process. this is beginning to happen. industrialist investors going back to take part in progress. i want to take this opportunity to encourage american investors and businessmen to go to iraq. sees opportunities that are becoming available. this year, and the next years, the emphasis will shift to the economy. there will be many good opportunities for business. opportunities for business.